3 Things to Know About Size Limitations for CNC Machining

Learn more about designing within the work envelope of a CNC milling or lathe machine and the availability of post-processing options for larger parts.

By Serena Ngoh · March 05, 2019

1. The "Work Envelope" of a machining center describes the machine's travel dimensions

CNC Milling Size Limitations

Xometry's partner network includes CNC machining centers with 64" (X)" by 32" (Y) by 38" (Z) travel limitations. Keep in mind that the travel limitations do not necessarily translate to maximum part dimensions. Deep features requiring long tooling can cut into the effective work envelope of a machine. 

2. For parts manufactured on a lathe, the critical limiting dimensions are the maximum part diameter and the overall length of the part

CNC Lathe Size Limitations

Xometry supports parts up to 18" in diameter, but special considerations can be made for larger parts. The maximum overall length of parts that can be supported also depends on the part's maximum diameter. Live tooling lathes can manufacture more complex turned parts with off-axis features, but this often means smaller effective work envelopes.

3. Part size can affect the availability of different post-processing operations

For example, larger parts often do not fit in media-blasting cabinets. Additionally, for large parts that need to be anodized or electroplated, there can be custom racking requirements.

Congratulations! You're now on your way to building parts that are optimized for our partner network's machine sizes. Read more design tips from our CNC Design Guide or quote now


Is your part larger than these stated limits? Xometry's applications engineering team would be happy to review the project! Feel free to email support@xometry.com to see how we can help.

Posted in Machining Manufacturability Tips

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Xometry is your one-stop shop for manufacturing on demand. Xometry works with 32% of Fortune 100 companies, offering 24/7 access to instant pricing, expected lead times and manufacturability feedback. Xometry’s nationwide network of 4,000+ partner manufacturing facilities guarantees consistently fast lead times across a broad array of capabilities, including CNC Machining, 3D Printing, Sheet Metal, Metal Stamping, Die Casting, Extrusion, Urethane Casting, and Injection Molding.

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